Your Ultimate Christmas Kitchen Guide For 2018: 20+ Recommendations

It’s time to start your Christmas kitchen preparations! Barbara, Catherine and Jack are here to help you decorate and cook.

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are behind us, so I think it’s the perfect time to start talking about Christmas. To be precise, I want to talk about the Christmas kitchen!

What makes the perfect Christmas kitchen? How to decorate it? What to cook? What tricks to use to make this holiday even more magical?

As you see, I want to cover many relevant topics here, which is why I am not writing this article on my own. It is a team effort, Catherine and Jack are both here to contribute to this unique Christmas kitchen guide with their valuable advice.

Even though Jack is a bit grumpy, constantly saying that it is still too early to wake up the Christmas spirit (such a Grinch, am I right?) and Catherine’s mood varies from enthusiastic excitement to “I hate snow,” they can’t really resist the magic. I catch the sparkle in their eyes, I hear Jack secretly humming “Jingle Bells,” and the fact is that Catherine comes with a new idea for decoration every day.

Enough chit-chat, for now, we have a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Catherine will give you her expert opinion on Christmas kitchen decorations, while Jack will make sure that your Christmas breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts are both healthy, aesthetic and yummy. At last, I’ll tuck a few aces up your sleeve, so that everything goes smoothly.

Let’s begin! 🙂

How to Decorate your Kitchen for Christmas? – Catherine’s Favorites

Every year, as Christmas approaches, my biggest dilemma is following – is it possible to overdo Christmas decorations?

Well, of course, it is, if you end up setting your house on fire, or cutting off the power of your whole neighborhood, you should consider scaling down.

However, if your house is visible from outer space once you turn on all of your Christmas decorations, but you don’t do any damage, I say go with it.

Seriously, I love decorating my house for holidays, and my favorite part is decorating the kitchen. There are so many tiny details and subtle changes that you can implement to make it beautiful. As you know, magic is hidden in details.

I’ll tell you a bit more about my favorite Christmas kitchen décor pieces and why I consider them to be the “must-haves” in every festive household.

So, let’s begin!

1. Christmas Kitchen Curtains and Rugs

When I’m decorating my kitchen, I start from the largest surfaces, that is windows (curtains) and floors (rugs). As I know I’ll be throwing a lot of Santa Claus, Snowman and deer themed details everywhere around, I try to keep my kitchen rugs and curtains as simple as possible.

Remember, buying a lot of decoration is excellent, but you don’t want it to look kitsch.

First off, you need to decide on your preferred color combination. If you want sparkles, then red and gold or blue and silver are advised.

If not, red, green and white is an excellent combination for Christmas kitchen, but you can make it even simpler and go for red and green, red and white or perhaps blue and white combination if you like. Of course, there are other, less traditional options as well, for example, I love how my friend Maria uses dark purple instead of red to make her kitchen look festive and elegant at the same time.

This is entirely up to you, choose the color combination you like the most and let your imagination make decisions instead of you.

When it comes to choosing the best Christmas kitchen rug, I have only one advice. Try to coordinate the style of your curtain and your rug. If that’s not doable and you want to keep your Christmas kitchen decoration as minimalistic as possible, the right carpet can do miracles.

2. Christmas Tablecloths and Table Runners

In many houses, the dining table is the kitchen’s center furniture piece. Of course, you will be eating your Christmas meal right there, so it better be well decorated.

Don’t worry, no matter the size or the shape of your table, you’ll have plenty of options to choose among. Over the years I realized that it’s best if I use both tablecloth and table runner. I usually place my Christmas table runner on my kitchen table, two or three weeks before the actual holiday and it helps me get into the spirit.

However, I use my Christmas tablecloth only for that one special dinner on Christmas Eve. First of all, that tablecloth is much more festive than the table runners I use on all of the other days. At the same time, I give my best for that evening to be as unique as possible. Lastly, I want my special tablecloth to remain clean and intact for Christmas Eve, which is why I turn to table runners on other days instead.

3. Christmas Chair Covers

Let’s talk Christmas chair covers for your kitchen.

Not many people use them, but they make a tremendous difference when it comes to Christmas decoration. Of course, I like to put them out only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, not before that, and you’ll see why. However, this depends on your personal preference.

If you want to purchase Christmas chair covers for your kitchen, you have to keep in mind how many chairs do you have, and what are their dimensions. I know many people who made an impulsive shopping decision to buy chair covers and ended up returning them because they were too small.

4. Christmas Dish Towels

Ooo, Christmas Dish Towels are my favorite. I love them so much that I get sad if they get dirty, even though that is the whole point of kitchen towels after all.

The reason why I love them so much is that they allow you to go crazy with Christmas decoration and the choices are endless. Of course, I wouldn’t advise you to buy blue-silver towels if you already decided to go with the red-green-white combination for the rest of the kitchen, but who am I to forbid you anything. Do as your heart wants, it is Christmas after all.

However, don’t forget that the towels are supposed to serve their purpose and not just look beautiful. Make sure they are made of high-quality materials such as linen, cotton, and microfiber.

I have to admit that I have many Christmas dish towels sitting in the back of my closet because there are just too cute not to buy. So, I picked out a few different towels for you too!

Another advantage of Christmas dish towels is that they make an excellent Christmas gift! So, even if you buy a few more than you need, you can always give it to someone who would love them just as much as you do!

5. Christmas Kitchen Utensil Ornaments and Holders

So many Christmas kitchen decoration pieces can fall into this category! All of the previous decorations were here just to set the terrain for Christmas utensil ornaments and holders.

Curtains, rugs, and tablecloths make your kitchen look elegant and classy for Christmas. On the other hand, utensil ornaments and holders, just as well as dish towels, are here to bring out the cuteness. 

You can buy as many of them as you want and there’s still no way you will overdo it. Here are my personal favorites:

Once you gather all of these key elements for perfect Christmas kitchen decoration, all you need is to throw in some lights (Quntis LED String Decorative Lights - 82.5ft Warm White Fairy Lights) and maybe a small Christmas tree (National Tree 24 Inch Majestic Fir Christmas Tree) if your kitchen is big enough, and you are ready to go!

5 Best Meals to Cook this Christmas – Jack’s Friendly Advice

Hi guys, Jack’s here! I hear you are already eager to plan what you’ll be cooking for Christmas.

At first, I thought: “they can’t be serious, they ALREADY want advice on Christmas dinner? It’s too soon!” But, then I thought of annoying shopping crowds and how they grow bigger and crazier as Christmas approaches, and I realized that every year I try to get all of the necessary ingredients for holidays during the first week of December, just to avoid that fuss.

Of course, to make the list of ingredients that you’ll need, you have to have all of the recipes ready and to have recipes ready, you’ll need the advice of your nutritionist. So, here I am, to help you have the tastiest and healthiest Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch possible.

Let’s begin!

1. Delicious Honey and Rye Glazed Ham

Here’s the list of ingredients that you’ll need to make this savory, succulent dish:

  • 1 12 to 14-lb. cured smoked bone-in ham (preferably with removed skin)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1½ cup of rye whiskey, bourbon or some other whiskey you can find
  • ¾ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup of mild-flavored molasses
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. of coarsely ground black pepper

You can find the detailed instructions on how to prepare this honey and rye glazed ham here. This is my go-to dish for Christmas Day because it’s pretty simple and it can be done in less than two hours. Also, if you make too much, you can always freeze it to use later, with Barbara’s tips

In order to make this dish, you will need one large roasting pan like this one - Calphalon Contemporary 16-Inch Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack, but if you have a roaster oven (Oster CKSTRS23-SB Roaster Oven) things will be even simpler. 

Roasting brush (OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush is my absolute favorite), meat thermometer (ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer is my go-to) and cutting board (why not this Christmas themed one - Personalized Holiday Cutting Board) will also come in handy.

However, some of you want to pick the best cutting board on the market instead of limiting your choice to Christmas themed ones. Read this guide and Barbara will teach you how to pick the high-quality cutting board that suits your needs.

2. Soft, Roasted Squash with Cinnamon and Brown Butter

Moving on to side dishes. As you know, both squash and cinnamon have fantastic health benefits, so why not combine them into perfect vegetarian, gluten-free Christmas dinner side-dish?

Here’s the list of ingredients that you’ll need:

  • 3 lbs. butternut squash (washed and peeled)
  • 6 lbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 1 to the 2-inch knob of fresh ginger (peeled and finely grated)
  • ½ fresh orange
  • 3 tbsp. of molasses
  • 2 tbsp. of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. of ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. of ground cloves
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt

The detailed instructions are given here

You’ll also need baking sheets and one small saucepan. These are the products that I swear by, guaranteed to provide you with perfectly cooked and healthy meal:

Find out whether pudding is gluten-free or not with Barb! Many of us turn to different kinds of pudding, as a simple yet delicious dessert for Christmas Day. However, is pudding gluten-free or not? Can you eat it without worrying? Read Barb’s guide and find out!

3. Cranberry Christmas Cake

Making the perfect Christmas cranberry cake for the whole family is not an easy task, especially when your grandma knows the best. However, this detailed recipe should lead you through the whole process painlessly and give perfect results. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 oz. of fresh cranberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (or gluten-free alternative)
  • ¾ cup of butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla

To make this cake, you’ll also need an electric mixer, such as this one - Breville BHM800SIL Hand Mixer, and a high-quality non-stick pan

4. Healthy, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Gingerbread cookies. But, can we make them gluten-free? Of course, we can! Just follow the recipe I gave you, and they will be done before you can blink!

Here’s what you’ll need for the cookies and icing:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (at room temperature, for glaze)
  • 2 cups of confectioner's sugar (for icing)
  • 1 ¾ cups of white rice flour
  • ¾ cup of potato starch
  • ¾ cup of shortening
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup of molasses
  • ½ cup of tapioca starch
  • 2-3 tsp. of fresh lime juice (for icing)
  • 1 ½ tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. of ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt (for icing)

A hand mixer will come in handy with this recipe, too. Cookie sheets are also necessary, but I already covered that topic. Don’t forget to get some parchment paper as well!

On the other hand, if you are Earth conscious, you probably avoid using parchment paper, and I support that decision. In that case, you will need a more eco-friendly alternative. So, I recommend you to read this article and learn how to pick the best silicone baking mat with Catherine!

5. Christmas Buttered Rum And Cider

I love Christmas and everything that goes with it, but I am a bit tired of eggnog. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but why not change the tradition from time to time and bring something new into your Christmas kitchen game. That’s why I decided to recommend you this delicious buttered rum and apple cider.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it: 

  • A few sliced apples for serving
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (and a few more for serving)
  • 3 cups of spiced apple cider
  • ¾ cup of dark spiced rum
  • 2 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1/8 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

The best thing about this yummy Christmas beverage is that it can be done in less than 30 minutes. All you need is a medium saucepan (like this one Cuisinart 719-16 Chef's Classic Stainless Saucepan with Cover), and some beautiful Christmas themed mugs (Certified International"Santa, Snowman, Penguin & Bear" 3D Figural Mugs are a great idea) for serving!

Barbara’s 5 Tips & Tricks to Make your Christmas Kitchen Magical

Now that you know how to decorate your kitchen for this Christmas and what to cook, I have a few words to add before we say farewell for today.

Follow these tips and tricks and both your kitchen and your holiday will be perfect!

1. Make sure your Christmas tree is perky

  • If you decide to place your Christmas tree in the kitchen, make sure to keep it away from any source of heating – radiators, oven, fire-place even your dishwasher. Find the coldest spot in your kitchen and place the tree right there. This way, your tree will shed needles less, and it will look fresh for a longer time. 

2. Delegate duties

  • Once the Christmas comes, you might find yourself in the situation where you have a big turkey or ham already in your oven, but you still have to roast squash as well, and you’d like all of these things to be ready at the same time.
  • This might sound like mission impossible, but it is not. Just make sure that you don’t cram everything in the same oven because such a maneuver can cause a disaster. Either you will burn something, or it won’t be ready in time.
  • So, getting that roaster oven that Jack mentioned previously, might be a really good idea. Read our guide and you will find the perfect roaster oven for yourself in no time!

Learn how to select the best oven mitts right now! Another thing to pay attention to is your safety. No matter how great Christmas is, the fact is that all of the preparations for the celebration can be quite stressful. Thousands of thoughts are rushing through our heads and we become clumsy and negligent. That’s why I advise you to be careful and protect your hands by wearing oven mitts at all times. Read this article and I will help you select the best oven mitts on the market! They can be cute and Christmas themed as well.

3. Make your roasties crispier

  • If you decide to cook roasties, and you want them to be as crispy as possible, add just a half teaspoon of baking soda to the water in which you are planning to cook them. This way created higher pH will break the pectin down more quickly. As a result, you will get delicious roasties with fluffier edges.

4. Store your ornaments wisely

  • Once the time comes to take off the Christmas decorations, you’ll face a problem of storing them. How to store them safely without breaking any of your precious ornaments? Well, the solution to all of your problems is hidden in your kitchen. Use leftover egg cartons to pack up your Christmas ornaments – it’s simple, efficient and cheap.

5. Make chocolate peels quickly

  • You will probably make a lot of desserts that need a chocolate garnish. You can make this process much easier for yourself by using a potato peeler, such as OXO 20081 Peeler to peel the chocolate. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but you’ll thank me later!

Conclusion

We believe you are now well equipped to handle this Christmas season like a pro. Christmas kitchen won’t be a burden to you on any front. All you have to do is follow our advice, and enjoy the holiday spirit!

If you have any creative suggestion for Christmas kitchen decoration or cooking ideas, we would love to learn about them!

Leave us a comment; we are especially happy to hear about some DIY Christmas projects!

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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